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Analyzing Political Correctness: Cultivating a Community of Mutual Respect

in Miscellaneous/Political Issues by

In America, a single misspoken word can end your career. With the internet’s pervasiveness, an unguarded moment of bigotry can quickly become the top search entry—next to your name. You must watch what you say, do, act, or else, the internet can end your future. In America, the land where many become one, the desire for “political correctness,” the avoidance of terms that marginalize discriminated groups, stifles discussion. For a better future, we must create a culture of respect rather than enforced silence.

First, political correctness functions as a protection for Americans when used correctly. I’ve noted that when people are politically incorrect, they tend to ostracize the “other.” Political correctness should come into play when Americans use words to paint an “Us vs. Them” picture. Politically incorrect words ignore the feelings of minorities and perpetuates an oppressive society. Thus, political correctness makes minorities feel American because they matter as people.

Nevertheless, I will admit that political correctness often stymies its own goals. In 2015, there was a controversy over Instagram filters lightening people’s skin tone. Even if the skin lightening occured, waving words like “politically incorrect” at Instagram’s defenders fuels greater separation between Americans. Excessive political correctness instills a belief that society has cured racism because only minor internet offenses enthrall public attention. Nowadays, due to hyper-awareness of “political correctness,” racism sneaks through the seams of our society because the vigilant public ignores the larger picture.

Stereotypes, at a certain point, are self-perpetuating. When I go to France, I expect to see baguettes. Yet, if the French decided that baguettes humiliated the French identity and stopped eating them, the French would lose a cultural icon. Stereotypes are acceptable so long as they are based on identity, geography, and physical conditions—not the color of one’s skin or one’s culture. Our nitpicking allows true discrimination to ignore the larger, more pressing crises as mere “political correctness” because we confuse acceptable and racist stereotypes. Thus, the fear of “political incorrectness” prevents many from even admitting that racism exists, which risks latent racism striking from beneath a unified facade.

Our last freedom resides in our minds, and people will resist the limiting of their thoughts. Laws and orders cannot change one’s inner beliefs because beliefs are not based on evidence, so even adamant “political correctness” campaigns will ultimately fail. Offensive beliefs cannot be regulated—only willfully changed. Americans are tired of the silence due to “political correctness.” Thus, the solution lies in educating the masses into treating differences with empathy—not mocking the uneducated for their narrow mindedness.

Although combating racial slurs can change how we think, no one will listen to “political correctness” unless a foundation of empathy and respect exists. By discussing race, we can understand why our words hurt. Educators, as authority figures, offer the best opportunity for respectful discourse in the next generation. When we learn what it means to be truly politically correct, to use respectful words, to listen, will we take the next meaningful step towards ending racism. We must rid the taboo of the “politically incorrect” and educate children to be respectful and ask questions. Only by teaching what is correct, how the incorrect affects people, and why it exists through open discourse, can we convince others to become respectful.

Graphic Design by Jackson Edwards

Political Correctness: How it’s Being Weaponized to Stifle Free Speech

in Contemporary Politics/Miscellaneous/Political Issues by

“There is this idea that speech is violent, that by simply espousing a view you don’t like I’m attacking you, I’m oppressing you, I’m assaulting you. That view is fundamentally incompatible with a Western, liberal democratic society” (Berkeley College Republicans). The main enemy of western advancement and freedoms is the far left. Some believe freedom of speech doesn’t protect hate speech and that the person should be defenseless against governmental tyranny. The question I ask is, what is hate speech? I say hate speech doesn’t exist; its meaning changes from person to person. Hate speech laws are what could destroy this country.

I disagree completely with hateful rhetoric; however, as an American, it is my job to fight for people’s freedom to express themselves. Look at Canada and Europe for example—people can be jailed for having different opinions than the state, or “offending” someone. Theoretically, I could be punished for legally crossing the Canadian border if I did something that i) offended a minority, ii) criticized the government, or iii) criticized Islam. Now, I could be fined or jailed if I misgender somebody in Canada. Hate speech laws are nothing more than an excuse to censor the opinions of political adversaries. My personal criticisms of the government under Obama landed me a flurry of screams particularly claims that I am racist, which morphed into criticisms of my being bigoted, transphobic, sexist, homophobic and on and on. Even without hearing my opinions, just my statement that I was a proud citizen of the United States or Conservative causes people to form preconceived notions about what I believe.

Hate speech laws are nothing more than a cowardly excuse to throw political adversaries in jail. Political correctness was glorified by fascists in the German Reich to silence other voices than the states, and made mandatory in Red China when they first took power. This political correctness revolved around aligning one’s views with the state, making speech that was unorthodox illegal. This term has just recently resurfaced; “political correctness” is an iceberg that the US must avoid to preserve the torch of western democracy. While Europe is falling into the clutches of socialist revolutionaries and radical islamic terrorism, the US must strive protect its own citizens and its allies abroad. No country’s people enjoy such great freedoms as those of United States, and all its citizens should take pride in its greatness. The moment we lose the right to say what we think, the United States of America as we know it ceases to exist.

Graphic Design by Jackson Edwards
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